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© Van Cleef & Arpels
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Van Cleef & Arpels

Jewellery makingJewellery

The French High Jewellery and Watchmaking Maison Van Cleef & Arpels was born in 1906, in Paris’ Place Vendôme. Ever since its foundation, the Maison has been dedicated to developing its savoir-faire and creating genuine signatures: they include the Mystery Set technique, in which metal disappears to highlight the gems; the ingenious vanity case called the Minaudière; and the innovative Zip necklace, inspired by the zip fastener. For all its creations, the Maison combines expertise with great delicacy of vision, imbuing the most precious materials with lightness and movement. The virtuoso craftsmen from Van Cleef & Arpels’ workshops deploy all their inventiveness to create transformable pieces, offering flexibility and comfort alongside graceful designs. 


A masterpiece of ingenuity, the Zip necklace is one of Van Cleef & Arpels’ boldest creations. Inspired by the zip fastener, this transformable piece can be worn open as a necklace and closed as a bracelet, thanks to an intricate mechanism. The patent filed by the Maison in May 1938 describes this “ornamental fast fastening”; it notably features a structure that masks the line of closure. The jeweller makes two elements in gold: adorned with decorative motifs on one side, and with rods that interlock perfectly–thanks to a sliding tassel–on the other. Always ornamented, this tassel adds the finishing touch to this High Jewelry piece.

Objects Details: Genealogies of Ornament Exhibition Contact
Paris, France

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